Inquiries on Annihilationism

2 years 9 months ago #5386 by Simba
Hey there!
I've been studying this topic of Hell for a few months now and have dialogued my conclusions as rejecting the traditionalist view outright. I am, however, intrigued given a few passages of scripture that I'm having trouble overcoming (which generally would support a more traditional view of Hell and Hellfire), so before I state [my questions for the community], I will list my previously mentioned conclusions:

1) Hell is a literal place that exists as God's chosen method of punishing sin,
2) The human soul is NOT immortal, therefore would not experience a conscious life after death of any kind (strangely similar to the Jehova's Witnesses' views on life after death) - chiefly, of a life of eternal torment which having an immortal soul would presuppose,
3) and after physical death, we "fall asleep in death" as Paul and Jesus (and his disciples) both typically described, given my studies.
The most fuzzy of which is such :
4) Lastly, all who died at any point in human history will be resurrected, judged according to either the Law (those alive before the New Covenant) or according to their belief in the Son, Christ (those alive afterward).
a) I still have concerns regarding this point;
- are the fate of those whom were resurrected after Jesus' death on the cross (Matt. 27: 51-53) the same as the literal Lazarus whom Jesus directly resurrected?
- is there a biblical determination for what happened to Enoch & Elijah (who never saw death) and Moses and Elijah (who appeared to Jesus during His transfiguration: is it biblical to assume that these two were not actually there?)
* And, on this topic, what of Samuel's encounter with Samuel (1 Samuel 28): can we conclude as the JWs might that his conversation with what appeared to be Samuel actually simply be a demon masquerading as the spirit of the then-deceased Samuel?

Now...I know there were some questions involving my #4 up above. Any thought provoking answers to those would be helpful, but the point of this post was to inquire of the following two concepts:

a) What is the meaning of 1 Peter 3:19-20? If we conclude that there is no realm that the dead literally exists within, then what realm is Peter speaking of in this passage? He states it as if Jesus literally went down to a realm of the dead and literally ministered to disobedient spirits: were these spirits human spirits who can receive salvation, or were they angelic/fallen angel/disembodied nephilim spirits who have not been given salvation like humanity has? Lastly...what "Prison" is Peter speaking of?

b) Jesus told the thief He was hung next to "Surely I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). The only plausible explanation I can think of here is simple: the original Greek had no punctuation, so instead of reading "Surely I tell you, today...", it should instead read, "Surely I tell you today, you..." which changes the entire meaning of what will happen after death.

Thoughts? References? Help? :side:

I appreciate any help, but more certain than anything, scripture references to exegete properly is most welcome, as we cannot pin anything as "truth" if it does not correspond with scripture itself.

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2 years 8 months ago #5627 by webb
Replied by webb on topic Inquiries on Annihilationism
I am of the opinion that the thing that is crucial for Conditional Immortality to demonstrate biblically is the following: the soul is not inherently immortal. In other words, having been created, it can be uncreated, as Jesus says:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Mt. 10:27-28

Notice that killing the body does not kill the soul according to Jesus. But that is not because the soul (the consciousness of the created human being) has been created so as to be indestructible, but because only God has the ability to take the whole person, including the soul, out of existence (or, if you insist, to disintegrate it and re-use the elements).

I don't have to wrestle with the passages you have taken note of that seem to create difficulty for a position that when the body is dead the soul is dead. Because I take a progressive revelation approach, according to which God only clearly revealed the possibility of human survival of death through the latter prophets, it doesn't bother me that the writers of Job and Ecclesiastes and some psalmists express skepticism as to the possibility of life after death. Each person will have to use the overall scriptural hermeneutic that seems the most reasonable to them. Mine's more flexible than some others (and I learned it in an inerrantist evangelical college, so it is an evangelical option).
The following user(s) said Thank You: John Haak

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